Sanju Samson, the dashing wicketkeeper-batsman from Kerala, who will play this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) for Rajasthan Royals (RR), is all set to make full use of the tournament. In a recent chat with Sportswallah, Samson unfolds how excited he is to be back in RR and his dream in this year’s IPL.
Here are the excerpts:
Sportswallah (SW): How is the feeling of donning the Rajasthan Royals Jersey once again after a gap of two years?
Sanju Samson (SS): Yes, it feels great. I am fortunate that I could return to the Rajasthan Royals once again. It is the team I always wanted to play for and I am happy that I have been picked by them this season and eager to give my best to the team.
SW: You have had some great memories in Rajasthan Royals. What would be your goal this time?
SS: Yes, Rajasthan Royals is more like a family. My goal is obviously to perform and contribute towards the success of my team.
SW: You will get to play under mentor Shane Warne, who, as captain of the team, played a pivotal role to win the first IPL Trophy for RR. How could be his impact this time? Have you had any interaction with him?
SS: He has done a lot for the Rajasthan team right from the first season that helped the team become the champions in the first edition. As I have never met him before, I am eager to interact with him and looking forward to playing under his guidance. My excitement is increasing day by day. I am sure, I will learn a lot from the veteran player.
SW: You are one of the most promising wicket keeper-batsman in the country. You made your debut for Indian senior team three years back. But since then, you haven’t been around the team. Your take on this.
SS: It is every cricketer’s dream to represent the country at the highest level. I am fortunate that I have played for team India in the past. Apart from Rajasthan Royals, I have been playing for other domestic teams too and performing well for them. I feel that whatever chance I get, I have to make full use of it. I am happy with my career. Selection in team India is not in my hand, what is in my hand is playing with full potential and that’s what I am doing right now.
SW: Do you feel the emergence of Rishabh Pant and Ishan Kishan has made the competition to get into the Indian team more tough?
SS: I don’t think that there is any competition going on among us. I love playing Cricket and that is what I am doing. I am happy that I am getting an opportunity to perform on the field. If I continue to score runs, I will be where I want to be one day. So, right now I am not thinking about the competition with any player. My main focus is to perform well for Royals in this IPL.
SW: How would you assess RR team this year?
SS: I feel that Rajasthan Royals is a balanced team. We have an experienced leader Ajinkya Rahane who is also in the top order, all-rounder Ben Stokes, wicketkeeper batsman Jos Butler who can play in any situation. Pace bowlers like Jaydev Unadkat and Dhawal Kulkarni have been doing good in the IPL. Moreover, we have a good mixture of senior and young players who can contribute to the team.
SW: Who could be the toughest opponent to face in this year’s IPL?
SS: That’s difficult to say considering the team combinations have changed this year for almost all the team. And in T20 format, the game changes in fraction of a second.You have to play with full potential and perform extraordinary, this is how you can win the matches. You have only 40 overs to dominate on the field. I feel that every team in the T20 tournament (IPL) is tough for their opponents.
SW: How is your preparation going on?
SS: I have played lots of IPL matches and I am in good touch. Therefore, just concentrating on the basics and working on my batting during the nets. So, I am pretty excited and looking forward to perform for Royals in this season.